Futura to match 06 K96?
Forgive me for seeking your advice, but I admire and respect your understanding of boards and sails, and have most often felt in very tight agreement with your well-articulated views.
I am ~72kg have a 2006 K96 (dram) which I primarily use as a large lake board (i.e., Great Lakes, Finger Lakes), with main sails of 6.3 and 5.5 SuperFreaks. Largely use this for B&J, or in the case of the bigger lakes, swell riding somewhat akin to the Gorge. The complementary light wind wave board is an original 117 Aero (wood), mated with an 8.0 SuperFreak - (that's a sweet combo!). I had a C131 that was my light wind flat water board, which I liked a great deal but, well, sold it. I never fell in love with it; very nice jibing, but just not exciting enough. The Futura seems like it might be what I was trying to get out of the C131, but I'm not sure what size.
In the go-fast mode, I would initially pair this Futura with 7.0 and 8.7 NP Z1 sails that are in good shape and my main intent would be to wear them out. But the 7.0 to 9.0-10.0 size range would be the intended use; on light wind days I probably would use this board for light wind freestyle tricks with the SF 6.3. I further would probably try the 6.3 on days for more old-school and some new-school planing freestyle tricks - with some mild arthritic problems from old injuries I am not highly inclined to do much aerial tricks, more the old-school planing jibing / tacking maneuvers. In brief, this is going to be a light to moderate wind all-purpose flat water board, and now-and-then I like to stand on the accelerator and see what she'll do.
It would seem that the F122 or F133 would be the best all-arounder sizes, based on wind ranges. The main advantage of the 122 would seem to be best turn of speed, more maneuverable, probably easier in fin-first mode and back-winded fin-first type of stuff; the main advantage of the 133 would seem to be light-air wind range. I should think that I ought to be able to plane with good pumping techniques in ~10-11 kts with a 9.0 on the 122, and 8-10 kts on the 133. IF (note caps) Jeff ever makes a 10.0 ultralight SuperFreak, I suspect the 122 would carry that quite comfortably and make 10 kts more achievable.
Given that the jump from the Futura is more likely to be to the K96, i.e., from flat water blasting to B&J, one question I'm wondering is if the F133 to K96 jump is pushing it? Seems like it would be at the limits of no overlap, and that the F122 to K96 would be more comfortable/versatile. Though I have ridden the A117 in freeride mode, I find it a little slowish that way and it is setup with straps forward, in, and single rear for swell riding; I would be inclined to setup the Futura of either size with straps fully back and out, leaving the A117 permanently in the wave mode and the Futura in the slalom mode. I know SB intends for Kombat users to change back and forth, but frankly I hate moving the straps...
Given all of that, which board would you recommend - the 122 or the 133?
Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately, the only Futura I've tried is the 101, so I can only guess how the 122 and 133 would work. I've used the 101 with superfreak 7.0 and speed demon 7.5 - both worked well.
Still, I think it will come down to how much you value that super light wind performance relative the "fooling around" performance. But if you don't intend to do jumping tricks it sounds like the 133 would give you the most added benefit relative what you already have. After all, you can always take out the Aero (in wave mode) if you feel like you want to have a tricking day. And the 133 would offer an even more stable platform for some lightwind sail spinning and stuff. And most of all, my guess is that even a superlight 10m2 freak (or 9.0) would be better handled by the bigger 133l board. Not that it could not be made to work on the 122, but t will surely be a more natural and comfortable fit on the 133. I also think that the K96 would start working well long before the F133 tops out.
But maybe someone else have tried both the 122 and 133?
I tend to agree with Ola as well: freestyle tricking in light wind would be better done with Aero 117 than with Futura 122 or 133. Your idea to keep Aero 117 for B&J and tricks and choose a Futura for efficient freeriding and flat water blasting is indeed the best choice IMHO.
If you really want to blast in light 8-10 knots wind with a powerfull 10 m2 freerace/slalom/racing sail, an iSonic 122 or 133 would be much more efficient for a 72 kg weight rider IMHO.
As for jumping between a Fu122/133/144/iS122 + 10.0 m2 sail and Kombat 96 + 6.3 sail, this is stretching it way too much. An intermediate sail in the 7.x-8.x range is needed (hence, keeping Aero 117 + 8.0 superfreak). Please find below the board+sails range I'm using in the 7-20 knots wind range (183 cm x 65 kg) :
flat water blasting HS105:
10.6/11.0 racing sail : 7-12 knots wind; 54 cm race fins
8.2 racing sail: 10-15 knots wind; 40 cm race/32 cm slalom fins
6.6 racing sail : 15-20 knots wind; 32/26 cm slalom fins
freeride/freemove/freewave Kombat 86:
6.9 freemove sail : 12-18 knots wind; 30 cm freeride/24 cm wave onshore fins
6.2 wave sail : 15-20 knots wind; 30 cm freeride/24 cm wave onshore fins
I'm curious to learn why you think your Carve 131 wasn't as exciting as expected.
If you're able to read french, please find below some of Christine's 2008 gear tests :
Test Futura 122 with 7.8/8.3 m2 racing sails on the french forum:
Test Futura 133 with 8.3/9.0 m2 racing sails and iSonic 122 on the french forum:
Thank-you very much for your help. Christine's posts are most interesting (I took French in school and lived in Québec for a year, but my skills are rusty).
I'm not at all interested in playing the "how low can you go" game. 7-8 knot winds require more rig than I care to work with.
Also, I gave the wrong impression, I wouldn't try to go 10.0 down to 6.3; 10.0 to 7.5 maybe, or 9.0 to 6.3 probably - I have an 8.0 and 6.3 in the SuperFreak and that jump is a piece of cake. So to me the gap kind of depends on the sail model. Further, I would not be likely to go 10.0 iSonic / Futura down to 8.0 K96, but would stay on the larger board until, nicely powered with smaller fin and 7.5-8.0 rig (maybe even the 6.3), and then go to the smaller board.
In the Futura, the 144 may be a better equal to the iSonic 122, because of the tail. I've thought about the 144 instead of the 133, but was edging toward the 133 for top end speed.
As to the C131, it was a sweet board, I admit. I really had no complaints, used it in 6.5 to 8.7 conditions, it jibed nicely, could handle small swells pretty well, reasonably smooth ride. My only disappointments were that it didn't plane quite as early as I'd hoped and it never really gave me a huge thrill. I'm a fan of easy jibing boards (have had easy and hard jibing boards, and see no reason to make it harder than it is...), but maybe the 131 made it TOO easy? It was a superb all-around board, but somehow it didn't have the spark to light my fire. Perhaps if I'd gotten it in wood...
The A117, in contrast, is slashy and maneuverable on swells in the large lakes I sail (Great Lakes, USA), workable for planing-type old-school maneuvers (carving 360s, Donkey jibes, etc.). Downside of the A117 is that, in my view, it really is best as a wave setup. It benefits immensely from having a little swell to start planing. I think those who have knocked on the A117 were trying in the wrong conditions, wrong setup, and perhaps wrong rig. It REALLY responds to the 8.0 SuperFreak. In my view the A117 is a keeper, though it is a somewhat specialty board. Am glad that SB kept up the bloodline in the Kombat.
Thanks for your reply. Sorry I cannot comment any further about your intended jumps from 10.0 to 7.5 sail (I don't have a 7.5) or from 9.0 down to 6.3 sail (I don't have a 9.0) althought the last option is stretching a bit the sail range with a few or no overlap I'm afraid (it's fine to jump down to my 6.6 sail once my 8.2 sail is fully overpowered in a solid 15 knots).
Forget about using Kombat 96 with an 8.0 sail, the board is for sure too small. I've tried Kombat 95 with a 6.9 sail and it was fine, so 7.0 is max sail you might use on such a board.
From what you told us, it looks like Futura 122 might be the best combo to par with a 9.0 (+7.5) +6.3 sail quiver and then switch over to Kombat 96 +6.3 sail combo. However, to do freestyle tricks in 8 knots winds with a big sail and a large Futura, quite honestly, I really don't know whether or not it's utopia or fun to do, so I'll leave that to Taty and others freestyle experts in the field, sorry about that.
10.0 to 8.0 / 7.5 is definitely do-able, depending on the sails. I don't have a 9.0, I have an 8.0 SuperFreak and an old 8.7 Z1 still in good shape (and anticipate replacing the Z1 with the biggest sail a 122 or 133 can carry). So I'm really going 8.0 to 6.3, or even 6.3 to 6.3 (changing boards). Plus, I have an Aero 117 in the middle (which is set up more for wave sailing and thus I'd like to keep it out of the mix in flat water, but like it quite a lot).
The K96 never sees anything larger than the 6.3, which I find to be at the upper end of the board's sweet spot.
I too, kind of like the F122, but it would be kind-of maxed out trying to make use of my 520 race mast, which fits the 8.7 but in modern sails it fits nothing smaller than 9.5. So that's the temptation of the 133...
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